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Just the other day, I gave my self-introduction speech, which I believe went well despite some technicalities. The speech went off without a hitch, but I was a little anxious because all eyes were on me. However, I was pleased with the overall result of the speech, and although I did not deliver to my full potential, the lessons learned were invaluable. I was at ease with the structure of my voice, pausing as possible and adhering to the two-minute limit, among other things. My success was aided by the fact that I had practiced my speech for several days prior to the big day. My success in making the speech was however deterred by pronunciation that was primarily influenced by my Spanish origin. I still have a thick accent, which I need to improve to enhance my communication skills. I also need to improve on my posture since I would regularly cross my legs during the speech. Nonetheless, I was still able to communicate effectively as the feedback from the audience, team, and professor was quite encouraging, and they all said I was well prepared. The posture, intonation, and pronunciation are some of the areas that I need to improve for my next speech.
It seems a difficult task to assess, evaluate and make a critique of one’s own progress especially with regards to writing progress. I myself find it difficult; however, as I exerted effort in doing so for the sake of this task, I felt good as I learned more about my current skills on writing speeches. I arrived at certain realizations and learnings as I evaluated the previous papers I submitted. I went back and reviewed the persuasive speech, “Should Churches be Exempt From Being Taxed” and the informative speech, “The Importance of Eating Organic Food.” The following discussions shall expound on the specific learnings I got.
The initial step I did in making a critique of these speeches is by proofreading them. By doing so, I learned the importance of proofreading every writing assignment I prepare before submitting them. As I proofread each of the speeches, I identified several mistakes which I could have corrected had I proofread them before submission.
Technically, I committed a lot of errors in sentence construction. There are sentences fragments or too long sentences that I made. For example, in the informative speech, there is this sentence that goes, “Organic food is more expensive than regular, production of organic food, usually requires more labor, fuel and heavy equipment costs than conventional food production, so that organic foods are usually more expensive.” This sentence is too long that the idea being conveyed is already not comprehensive enough. It could have been broken down into shorter sentences with direct or simple thoughts. The lesson learned in this case is that sentences should be kept short, simple and direct as much as possible so that thoughts are maintained clear and easy to understand.
Proofreading the speeches allowed me to identify mistakes in my grammar. There are errors on the subject-verb agreement such as “…fertilizers that has”, “rats causes”, “what does is”, and some more. These are simple subject-verb agreements but these simple things or errors can affect the effectiveness of the speeches and of me as a speaker or author of the speeches. I should not forget that grammar is an important element in writing and committing errors in it no matter how simple, is vital.
There are also words I was able to omit like “is” which should be inserted in the phrase “there a perception”. There are also typographical errors. These include “form” which should have been “from”, “ad” which should have been “and”, “but” which should have been “buy”, and some more. There are also words that have been repeated like “on the residence on the residence”. These errors simply showed or revealed that I was in a hurry and was not able proofread the speeches before I gave them in.
With regards to content, I realized that my write up for the informative speech on organic foods did not meet the objectives that I set in the outline. My mind must have been rattled and not focused that the content was in contrary to the goal of supposedly informing the audience about the advantages of organic food and motivating them to have more organic food. The information I provided was rather somehow telling the readers more about the disadvantages of organic food than its advantages. The content then did not speak or supported the topic or title of the speech. This is the biggest error I made between the two speeches. I realized that the difficulty in preparing an informative speech is finding relevant research-based evidences that will provide valid and logical information.
Another thing is that, I should have not inserted more personal views in the informative speech. I should not put claims which are not supported with evidences. For a speech to be really informative and believable, opinions should have no space in it. Instead, it should consist more information cited from reliable scientific sources. It should be based on facts and well-researched evidences. Generalization from only a few facts should also avoided. It is not enough for me to say that “I found many articles with the network of facts proving that organic foods are not just useless but dangerous”, but I only mentioned or cited one. I should have supported this statement with more citation from relevant sources.
In the paragraph where I mentioned about pesticides, I now realized that I had related clattered ideas. I should have not elaborated much about pesticides and only connected it to the topic organic products in only one sentence at the end. I could have provided an important related idea about pesticides briefly and emphasized instead on its connection to organic products. I should have used an idea about pesticide to make emphasis on a certain point about organic products.
With the discussion I made on the informative speech and most especially when I added the seven myths, I really got awakened that what I have written is rather not informative about the advantages of organic food but very informative about the disadvantages of organic products. As I said a while ago, it is not congruent with the general and specific purposes that I set at the beginning. However, as to the organization, it could have been better if a separate paragraph for conclusion was added instead of just ending with the seven myths.
All in all, with respect to the informative speech about organic products, I have to note and really learn that I should always be guided by the outline I made than being driven with the available sources I came to browse on.
Meanwhile, in the persuasive speech, “Churches should or should not be required to pay taxes”, I felt like I did a little better than in the informative speech. Though there were grammatical and typographical errors also as I mentioned earlier, with regards to content, format and organization of ideas, it sounds and appears better as I proofread it for critique’s sake this time.
The introduction is clear and direct although not so compelling or persuasive enough; however the flow of the discussion of the subtopics or main points in the succeeding paragraphs were really elaborate and organized. Each of the outlined main points or subtopic were addressed one by one in each of the paragraph. In every discussion, there is a consistency with the stand that I made; that churches should be required to pay taxes and need not be exempted. The ideas supporting the general and specific purpose are well-developed and are arranged according to the sequence of the outlined main points.
There are sentences or fragments however that could not be understood. The thoughts were not clear. Some of these are “If churches want to contribute in our society, they must denote to its keep simple like others,” and “Therefore, we should to evade taxes:…” There are words also that are not appropriate like the use of the word “necessarily” in the sentence “written are not necessarily”. I think I should have used “necessary”. Moreover, this persuasive speech again is a lot better than the informative speech in most aspects. Throwing questions to the audience within the speech make it more persuasive.
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In general, the two speeches I did enabled me to realize many lessons about writing speeches and how I could improve them. Those include the importance of proofreading and writing according to the outline. Through proofreading, technical errors can be identified and corrected. Through being guided by the outline, I can remain focused to the purpose and topic.
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